There are a lot of bad ideas in the world.
There’s also a war against ideas. Certain segments of society want some ideas banned or for them to go away like the flu.
I’m a daily collector of ideas. Here are the top 0.1% I’ve found.
The “fix it now” razor
When a big problem shows up it rents time in your head.
This causes extra cognitive load that makes us say “Nah, I’ll take care of this issue later.” Author James Clear pointed out why this is bad.
He says many problems are tiny if solved instantly, but if there is any delay in addressing them, then they snowball out of control.
So don’t delay. Fix it now.
Talent vs. Genius rule of thumb
Thinker David Perell reminded me society is great at creating talent, but terrible at producing genius.
Talented people are all about KPIs. They can smash through limitations. The problem is they can’t see targets that have never been invented.
They’re stuck in “box thinking.” Zero creativity.
Geniuses are a different breed. They’re out of control. People think they’re insane. They say wild things. They push the limits of consciousness. They’re once-in-a-lifetime freaks of nature.
And they’re in short supply. Why?
Society has suffocated creativity and imagination to death. The best way to bring it back and find your genius is to set your mind free.
- Let your mind rest.
- Don’t let opinions hold you back.
- Don’t snap at reactive-driven news cycles
Use this rule to make brilliant decisions
I’ve found this one of the best rules to apply. I use it daily.
Whatever society says to do, do the opposite. Common opinion is so bad. If you follow the existing paths, you end up stuck in a dead-end job or believing a college degree will give you an advantage.
That leads to modern slavery and then to taking out huge debt. It’s hard to escape once that happens.
I prefer to be a contrarian.
- If everyone is reading about events of the last 24 hours, I’m looking to stoicism for answers.
- If everyone says I should go back and get a job in banking, I start another online business.
- If I get bored, I do nothing instead of letting tv do the thinking for me.
Stop following the sheep off a cliff. Do radical things no one else is doing and you’ll find success no one else can believe.
The life-changing way to deal with a bad day
I have bad days all the time.
Sometimes they’re predictable, other times they come out of nowhere. 5 years ago I stumbled across a bizarre Reddit thread called “No Zero Days.”
Zero days happen when you make no progress for 24 hours.
You can’t always be hyper-productive and smash the lights out. But you can make at least a tiny bit of progress every day. It’s important, too, because it keeps the momentum going.
When an object in motion stops, it’s bloody hard work to get going again. If it stays in motion, then it’s effortless to increase speed.
Slow days are fine. Bad days are fine. Fast days are fine.
Just make it your aim not to have zero days when nothing happens and it feels like all hope is lost. Hope remains real when tiny actions don’t stop.
An interesting way to figure out what you want in life
“What am I passionate about?”
“What new career should I start?”
“What do I want to do for the rest of my life?”
These questions waste years of our life. We try to figure out what we DO want and it’s painful. A different way of looking at the problem is with an anti-vision, which stems from a Charlie Munger Framework.
The idea is if you don’t know what you want, figure out what you don’t want to find the answer. I applied this framework early in my career.
This is what I knew for sure:
- I don’t want to be told what to do
- I don’t want my income to be capped
- I want to take mini-retirements whenever
- I don’t want to sell boring products/services
- I want to teach others what I learn each day
This anti-vision led me to write online. Then I became an online educator. And 2.5 years ago I quit my job to run an online business.
By knowing what I didn’t want, I slowly wrote and created my way to a version of life I did want. But if you’d asked me to plan this out 9 years ago, I wouldn’t have known how.
The stuff that makes your blood boil is a powerful compass. Use it.
The 10 Reps Rule
Seth Godin looks like a skinny nerd. Just like me.
So when he came out with a rule based on the gym, it surprised me. If you can lift 100 pounds once, you might be able to do it twice. And next week it could be possible to do it three times.
And if you can do a habit one time, there’s a chance you can do it ten times.
If the ten reps happen there’s a chance this habit could be maintained for years to come. Long-term habits become skills.
Skills determine your income. And income determines whether you ever reach financial freedom. As you can see, this is a huge idea. One of the best I’ve found.
Do one rep to see if you can do ten reps.
The Jeff Bezos sugar daddy rule
Divorce and retirement have done strange things to Bezos.
Now he hangs out with bikini babes and tells them to call him daddy. Who am I to judge? The other day I listened to a 90s interview with him.
Before Jeff started his Amazon bookstore, he imagined himself at 80 years of age. Full of wrinkles. One foot away from the coffin. Thinking about life.
Then it hit him … at 80 he wanted to have the fewest regrets possible. This led him to discover that if he never started Amazon during the dot com boom, he’d always regret it later in life.
I love this framework because it destroys “what ifs.” It lets you make faster decisions based on what matters.
Too many people work jobs they hate and follow orders because they’re afraid to take a risk. And not taking that risk is what keeps them awake each night and daydreaming in meetings about why they feel something is missing.
What’s missing is risk. Take a risk or experience regrets later.
Remember: once you’re 80 you can’t go back in time and make new decisions that wipe away the regrets.
So use the time you have to say yes to the ideas you can’t stop thinking about. The worst-case scenario in any given situation isn’t as bad as your primate brain wants you to think it is.
It’s always better to try than to talk yourself out of it. Trying produces evidence and helps guide you in life.
More small bets, less regrets.
A surprising idea from me to finish
Consuming top ideas has helped me create my own ideas.
The best one I have (so I’m told) is the 1% better decisions every day framework. It goes like this…
Decisions create forks in the road in your life. If you want to get to a better place, then you have to make different decisions to get there.
Many of us make bad decisions out of habit. And we have hidden addictions we refuse to tell anyone about which drive those decisions.
To solve the problem don’t try to make radically different decisions. Make 1% better decisions every day.
Impulse control is one of the key foundations.
How can you follow your plan rather than let temptation and addiction take over and hijack your life? That’s a powerful question to ponder.